Warriors get Cosafa bye


HARARE - Defending champions Zimbabwe have been handed a bye during the draw for the 2018 Cosafa Castle Cup held at Safa House in Johannesburg, South Africa on Wednesday.

The Warriors, who won the tournament last year after beating Zambia 3-1 in the final, will start the tournament in the quarter-final stage according to the draw.

Sunday’s Chidzambwa’s men will take on the winner from Group B on July 3 in the Limpopo province unlike in the previous years when they had to start the competition in the group stages.

Group B features Botswana, Angola, Mauritius and Malawi with the top team proceeding to the quarter-finals t meet the Warriors.

According to the draw, Group A will comprise Madagascar, Mozambique, the Comoros and Seychelles with the winner set to meet South Africa in the quarter-finals.

The other quarter-finals pairings will see last year’s first runners-up Zambia take on Namibia while Lesotho have been drawn to face Swaziland. 

Meanwhile, last year’s top teams from the Cosafa Women’s Championship received their prize money totaling R1 million from the pan-African broadcast network, Kwese.

South Africa lifted the trophy during the tournament held in Zimbabwe in September last year, beating their hosts in the decider, while Zambia edged East African guest nation Kenya to the bronze medal.

The teams were rewarded for their prowess as South Africa received a cheque for R500 000 and the Mighty Warriors took home R250 000. Zambia collected R150 000 for third place and Kenya R100 000.

These are the same amounts that were handed out at the 2017 men’s senior championship in South Africa, putting the two events on par in terms of reward for the teams that excel.

“We take great pride in being able to elevate the prize-money for the Cosafa Women’s Championship to the same level as for our senior men’s competition to make a statement about how seriously we take women’s football in the region,” Cosafa and Zifa president Philip Chiyangwa said at yesterday’s event.

“Our nations have made great strides in recent years, including both South Africa and Zimbabwe representing the African continent at the Olympic Games in 2016, and we are sure that this will assist in the further development of the women’s game.

“We extend our heartfelt thanks to Kwesé TV for their continued support of women’s football in our region, as well as our other Cosafa properties, as together we seek to take the game to new audiences and grow our fanbase across the region.”

Econet Media president and CEO Joseph Hundah said they were delighted to contribute to the growth of women’s football in the region.

“We at Kwese have a keen commitment towards showcasing and promoting quality women’s sports from all over the continent across our multiple platforms,” Hundah said.

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